Former India captain Kapil Dev feels all the players in the national squad for the Asia Cup 2023 should be "tested out" before the BCCI selectors name the team for the ICC World Cup 2023.
Kapil Dev is concerned that the players who are returning from injury layoffs are at risk of aggrevating their issues further which would cause a major headache for Team India ahead of the home World Cup in October-November.
Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer and Prasidh Krishna are the four players made a comeback in the ODI squad for the upcoming Asia Cup. But barring Bumrah and Krishna, the other two will be playing straightaway in the six-nation tournament.
Rahul & Iyer's fitness concerns
Bumrah and Krishna made their India comebacks in the T20I series in Ireland earlier this month. Rahul and Iyer on the other hand, haven't played any cricket since March this year.
Rahul in fact, won't be available for the first few ODIs of the Asia Cup as he is still carrying a niggle, chief selector Ajit Agarkar revealed while announcing the squad earlier this week.
"Ideally every player should be tested out. The World Cup is so close but you still haven't given the players a chance? What if they head to the World Cup and then get injured? The entire team will suffer. Here, at least they will get a chance to bat or bowl a little and get some rhythm going.
"Worst case scenario, if the guys get injured again during the World Cup, it will be unfair to the players who will miss out on being part of the squad.
"The injured players who have returned need to be given a chance. If they are fit, then can play the World Cup," said Dev, who lifted India's first ODI world title in 1983.
Can returning players last the World Cup?
Kapil's main concern is whether the returning players' bodies will be able to sustain the rigours of the biggest tournament in world cricket over a span of a month.
"There is no shortage of talent, but if they are not fit, India will have a chance to make changes to the World Cup squad right away. You have a wonderful opportunity to create a team for the World Cup and the Asia Cup is a fine platform.
I want these players to go and express themselves. But if there is any sort of question mark, they don't need to be around.
"If you do not give them a chance, it will be unfair to not just the players but also the selectors. I am aware that the World Cup is taking place in India but you need to pick the best and fittest team," he added.